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What’s wrong with the “spend it all before you go” estate planning strategy?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | Estate Planning

Similar to other trends that we see throughout society, there are also trends in estate planning. In some cases, the latest trend will have some value, but others have few redeemable qualities.

Over the last few years, you may have read about the estate planning concept of “dying broke.” While this may seem like a replacement for traditional estate planning, it can leave your loved ones unprepared when dealing with your estate.

Here’s what you should know about adding the “dying broke” strategy to your estate plan.

Enjoying it while you’re alive

The idea behind the “dying broke” concept is that you spend and give away your money while you are alive and are able to enjoy it. Instead of prioritizing leaving a certain amount for your loved ones, you can enjoy experiences with them and give them support before you pass on.

Budgeting for a lifetime

Unfortunately, the idea that you can budget for the life you will have is an impossible calculation. When you have an estate plan, it can distribute everything that is left. When your strategy is to have nothing left, you will likely find yourself trying to make last-minute gifts on your deathbed.

You will still need a will

If you are considering this approach, you need to remember that you still need an estate plan. In addition to any remaining money, you have other assets that you will want to pass on to your loved ones, such as:

  • Collectibles
  • Vehicles
  • Land and other real estate

If these assets are not included in a will when you pass away, they will follow Florida’s intestate succession rules.

A comprehensive estate plan will allow you to use your assets and make memories with people while you are alive, while allocating your remaining assets for distribution after you pass away. Your estate plan will be a guide to loved ones as they distribute your remaining assets as you would want. Otherwise, intestate succession laws will dictate the distribution of those assets in a manner not necessarily consistent with your wishes.


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